The California Senate Fellows program was established in 1973 to provide participants with insight into the legislative process. The fellowship program's primary goals include exposing people with diverse life experiences and backgrounds to the legislative process and providing research and other professional staff assistance to the Senate. The program is jointly sponsored by the Senate and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento State).
Eighteen California Senate Fellows are selected to serve as full-time Senate staff for 11 months beginning in October. Fellows are assigned to Member and committee offices and work as part of the public policy staff team in the Capitol. Responsibilities include helping develop legislative proposals, researching and analyzing bills, responding to constituent inquiries, and writing press releases and speeches.
Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $2627 plus full health, vision and dental benefits. They also receive graduate units from the Sacramento State Government Department.
Anyone who will be at least 20 years of age and a graduate of a four-year college or university is eligible to apply. There is no preferred major. Individuals with advanced degrees and those in mid-career are encouraged to apply. Although no previous political or legislative experience is necessary, applicants should have a strong interest in public policy and politics. A five-week orientation provides background on state government, the legislative process, and major policy issues.